Port Saint John – Market Slip Collaboration for Recreational Boaters

Through consultations with local community members, Port Saint John (Port) and the City of Saint John (City) identified an issue impacting recreational boaters in their shared waterfront late in 2014. This project highlights the Port’s commitment to stakeholder engagement in decision making.

The City of Saint John is the water lot owner of an area integral to regional tourism and recreation known as Market Slip. This historically significant area had been used for decades as a small marina for recreational vessels. However, due to the continuous siltation nature of the harbor, over time this area began to accumulate sediments making its use as a recreational boating area unserviceable. Utilizing a solutions-based approach, the Port – City partnership explored a mutually beneficial cost sharing model to provide benefit to recreational boaters. While initial solutions were cost prohibitive, conversations were renewed in 2017 to explore other options. New models and methods were examined to ensure both parties were 100% satisfied with the arrangements.

The solution included a 50/50 cost share on the initial $200,000 dredging. This was carried out in 2020 and includes Port storage of the dredge spoils until such time as they can be permanently disposed as part of infill for an ongoing infrastructure project. An additional cost of movement of the spoils will be incurred by the Port at that time. Ongoing maintenance dredging in future years will be included as part of the Port’s annual maintenance dredging program, while the City of Saint John invested in other improvements to the marina’s floating docks.

From the Port perspective, this collaboration was led by the Vice President, Operations & Harbour Master. This project has led to exploratory discussions between the Port and City on other mutually beneficial arrangements at Market Slip.